Monday, April 25, 2011

April Newsletter

From Laura, 12 … Earlier this month our church held a small conference. Our guest speaker was Conrad Mbewe from Zambia. Over the weekend he spoke on authority and submission. There were several vertical relationships he spoke about: ruler/citizen, employer/employee, elder/church member, husband/ wife, and parent/child. He pointed out that only when you’re being asked to do something you do not want to do is submission difficult. It is impossible to say you are submissive if all you are ever required to do is things that correspond with your wishes.

From Becca, 14 … One day I was sitting in our shed when a wren flew in with something in its mouth. (The shed has a missing window.) It flew to a certain place in the rafters and placed its bit there. It came back again and again and paid no attention to me. Later Laura and I went to check on the bird nest in the shed. I saw a cave-like nest which hadn’t been there before, so I swung over on the rafters, bracing my feet against the wall, in order to get a better look. I had my face pretty near when suddenly a bird flew out at me! I was so startled, I screamed. With fast-beating hearts and trembling bodies we made haste to depart from the frightening shed.

That same day I was playing the piano when I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. There was a bright green lizard just walking down the shelf! I was very surprised! Since Seth wasn't there, I was determined to catch it. (I have not been able to in the past.) I got Laura, and after a lot of running around and yelling, I succeeded in throwing it in a box and rushing it outside.

From Seth, 18 … In the past weeks I have spent quite a bit of time studying physics. The subject has often proved to be a challenge, but it has also been interesting to gain a heightened awareness of the different forces at work around us. Just the simple act of opening the garage door is accompanied by a mind-boggling array of forces: everything from the numerous muscular forces in my hand, arms, legs, and back; to the frictional forces between me and the ground and between the various components of the garage door; to spring forces (redirected incidentally by pulleys); to the force of gravity—all working together to cause certain masses to accelerate and move in specific ways. Wow. What complexity! May the Creator of all receive glory!

From Anna, 21 … I recently finished reading the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. He was a former slave who became involved in the abolition movement in England in the late 1700’s. His autobiography was a significant factor in shifting public opinion because he wrote about his experiences in such a relatable, honest way. His experiences and his travels were widely varied, so it was fascinating to read his first-hand perspective on Africa, the West Indies, America, England, slavery, sailing, and commerce. His accounts of injustice not only to slaves but also to free blacks demonstrate the complete lack of rights that they had. People complain of continued racism in our culture today, but it’s nothing compared to what it was then, especially in the West Indies.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book for me was Equiano’s account of his conversion. It was interesting to draw parallels between that story and the story of how he earned his freedom. In both cases, he was living in a state of misery from which he longed to be free, freedom came suddenly, and when it had come, he had great joy and his life was forever changed. The biggest difference, though, was that he was able to work hard and to earn his own freedom from human slavery. On the other hand, he tried to work his way out of his slavery to sin, but no matter how hard he tried to do right, he continued to fail and was devoid of peace until all at once God changed his heart and caused him to recognize Christ as the only means of salvation and to trust him fully.

About John, 26 … (by Judith) John’s life right now is full of preparations and transitions. He has recently been investing time in communicating with the Lemays about the wedding service. Also there have been many other assorted lesser tasks related to the wedding and taking on a wife. Though his house is livable, there is some amount of work over there that he’d like to get done before he and Megan move in. Of course, he and Megan are spending lots of time together deepening their relationship and preparing to be husband and wife. There will also be the job of moving all of John’s and Megan’s worldly goods over to John’s house. Blessedly, his business is doing well right now, so his days are full. It’s a busy time to be sure, but we’re happy for them. They are well suited for each other.

About Ray, Katie, and Peter … (by Judith) Ray and Peter have had been sick recently, but are slowly on the mend now. Katie, with only three weeks to go before her due date, is more than ready to not be pregnant and to meet the new baby. They chose not to know the sex, so we’ll all be surprised! There’s not enough of Peter to go around, so this baby will help with that problem. Ray’s real estate work burbles along. The Lord provides.

From Judith … In looking over lasts month’s entry, I decided I’ll give an update on what I shared then. Katie was two weeks early with Peter, so we are mentally preparing for the possibility that she could go into labor any time now. I’ve finished my blouse for the wedding and have done the upper part of the three bridesmaid dresses. (The dresses have required a considerable amount of custom cutting and fitting.) I still need to alter Gerald’s and Seth’s suit pants. Seth is definitely scaring us less and less with his driving. (Recently, though, he did almost take out a neighborhood mailbox when he was watching some scavenging vultures!) Gerald got him started on the van so that he would have even more opportunities for practice. I’m more convinced than ever that nothing compares with sheer hours on the road to become a good driver. Seth is headed this fall to the University of Houston, but the actual degree program is still in question. The College of Technology just dropped their land surveying major, so we are waiting to see where the coursework he needs will end up. Those are the latest developments.

From Gerald … We had a great time camping near the end of March. We went to Martin Dies State Park, northeast of Houston. It is a beautiful park and the weather was great. We enjoyed our time there with several friends.

Our Love, Gerald, Judith, John, Anna, Seth, Becca, and Laura

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